Essay Writing

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Essay 1, 1500 words (35%)

Due date: 9th
of September

The first essay relates to the early weeks of the course about the internet and its influence on the relationship
between global and local cultures, and the dialectics of empowerment/disempowerment,
utopianism/dystopianism that surround this relationship.

Guided by the below essay questions, you should focus your essay around a particular element of cyber-culture
discourse explored in the early weeks of the course, and/or a particular case study which illuminates the nexus
between the internet, globalization, and local cultures. Essay questions will be discussed in tutorials, and you are
encouraged to approach your tutor or coordinator for guidance as you choose your essay question and narrow
down your argument

Your essay must be structured around a precise, carefully considered argument developed in response to your
chosen question. Don’t simply unload everything you happen to know about the topic! Ensure that your essay
does not draw on broad generalizations, anecdotal evidence, or “common sense” assumptions about the internet
and its influence on contemporary culture. Aim instead to clearly position your specific argument within the
relevant scholarly discourse. In addition to being well-supported by research, theoretical concepts, and/or
consideration of a relevant case study (depending on your chosen question and approach), your essay should
engage with relevant scholarly debates about the liberating or oppressive potentials of the internet – think of
your essay as your original contribution to such debates.

Essay Questions:

1. How do ideologies of technological utopianism relate to Web 2.0, and is this utopian discourse valid? In
your essay, be sure to clearly position your argument in relation to contemporary debates about
technological or cyber-utopianism.

2. Has Web 2.0 flattened cultural distinctions and created a more globalized society? If so, is the internet’s
globalizing potential culturally imperialist, or does the internet allow for heightened cultural diversity and

3. What strategies can be used to resist or reject online connectivity, and how productive or valuable are
these strategies? Be sure to focus your essay around a close analysis of a particular mode of digital
resistance or rejection.

4. What is the digital divide, and how does it influence the relationship between global and local cultures?
Focus your essay around a particular example of digital division and its impact upon global/local

General Guidelines for your Essay


Although the reader should be where your research begins, do not limit yourself to the set and recommended
readings. The number of sources your essay will draw on depends on your chosen topic, but you should aim for
at least five scholarly sources to support an essay of this length, and aim to include at least two beyond those
in the reader. If you need advice about researching a topic, please ask your tutor or coordinator.


All essays should conform to general academic standards of presentation: your essay should consist of an
introduction which clearly establishes the scope of your essay and your ‘thesis’ (or statement of argument), a
body which develops your argument, and a conclusion. Your essay must be constituted of carefully organized
paragraphs, each of which develops a particular component of your argument. The AIRport online guide is very
helpful to support the development of your essay structure:

Your reference list should be included at the end of your essay on a new page, and all references should
conform precisely to your chosen citation style. APA, Harvard and Chicago are most commonly used in media
studies – consult the re:cite guide to ensure your reference style is correct

Aim for precision and clarity in your language, and pay attention to detail when it comes to syntax and spelling.
If you need support with your academic writing, book an appointment with academic skills:

You should devise a title for your essay which captures your topic and response to the essay question. You
should include both your essay question and your essay title on the first page. All pages must be numbered, and
your work should be in 12 point font (using a clear, professional font such as Times New Roman or Helvetica)
with 1.5 line spaces.

Your essay will be assessed according to three key categories:
1. Writing and presentation.
2. Research and theory.
3. Analysis and original thought.

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